Let's set up simple monitoring systems for Twitter to ensure you get notifications when you, your site or certain terms you want to follow come up on Twitter. In Twitter clients, like TweetDeck, you can set constant search queries, which get updated just like your normal Twitter feed.
For certain terms, like your name or your website(s), it is good get notifications even when you don't have Twitter open. To achieve that, we can do Twitter searches and then subscribe to the RSS feed of that search query, and get notifications on Google Reader whenever your name, businesses or websites are mentioned.
Because of the superior dedicated clients, I think getting all your Twitter messages to Google Reader would be foolish (it is possible through the API), so we'll concentrate on getting RSS feeds of Twitter search queries to our reader as a kind of social media monitoring.
How To Get Twitter Searches as RSS
- Go to Twitter
- Enter Twitter Search for the terms you want
- Use quotes around multiple words
- Utilize the operators for advanced queries: OR, AND
- e.g. search for "your name":
- Look on the sidebar at the bottom of the page and
- locate "RSS feed for this query":
- Click to subscribe and add the feed to a Google Reader
- Use folder named "me", "monitor" or such to keep things organized
Unfortunately, if you have a relatively common name, or you have the same name as some well-known individual or celebrity, this won't work very well for you, but you can get your Twitter mentions as RSS using your "@username", read on for instructions on that.
And if your RSS feed subscriptions are not automatically going to Google Reader, check the settings of your browser.
- In Firefox (my preferred browser)
- go to the Tools >> Settings, when there,
- go to "Applications" and
- locate "Web Feed". Then
- choose "use Google"
- If you use some other reader, select that.
Setting Up Twitter Searches
You can also do a query without going to the Twitter site if you want:
- Start the search query with:
- Add the search terms
- Replace space with %20
- Replace quote (") with %22
- Replace @ with %40
- Insert the full search query URL to your browser, and
- The search will go automatically into Google Reader
Example Twitter search queries
- "your name"
- username OR "your name"
Getting your Twitter "Mentions" as RSS
- Follow the instructions above, and
- enter @username (%40username) as the search term.
- e.g. my search for @akokkonen, would be:
If you prefer some other RSS reader to Google Reader that is fine, but if you're not using any reader yet, Google Reader is the best option. You can access it anytime and from any computer, the folder system is great for organizing and sharing posts directly from Google Reader to Twitter, Posterous and other services is very easy.
You can set similar queries in other services too. Keep your eyes open for the RSS icons on the searches. Not all services have them, but most do. And while we're talking about social media monitoring, go and set up some Google Alerts too.